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Umar Akmal guided Pakistan to victory vs. Afghanistan – Asia Cup 2014, 3rd match

Zia Rana February 27, 2014

Pakistan 8-248 (Umar Akmal 102*, Ahmed Shehzad 50, Mirwais Ashraf 2-29) beat Afghanistan 176 (Noor Ali Zardan 44, Asghar Stanikzai 40, Mohammad Hafeez 3-29, Saeed Ajmal 2-25) by 72 runs.

A scintillating ton from the middle order batsman, Umar Akmal, lifted his team from the doldrums as Pakistan triumphed against Afghanistan in an important game.

The Green Shirts thrashed 248 runs for the loss of eight wickets in 50 overs and Afghanistan was bowled out for 176 with 16 balls to spare.

Umar Akmal (Pakistan) was announced ‘Player of the match’ for his astonishing unbeaten innings of 102 off 89 mere balls.

The Asia Cup-3rd match was played on Thursday, February 27, 2014, at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, Fatullah.

Umar Akmal - Star of the day with unbeaten 102

Umar Akmal – Star of the day with unbeaten 102

Earlier, Mohammad Nabi, the captain of Afghanistan, won the toss and invited Pakistan to bat first. Sharjeel Khan along with Ahmed Shehzad took off reasonably well by scoring 55 in 12.3 overs. The first was clean bowled by Samiullah Shenwari for 25 and Mohammad Hafeez was gone at 78 for just 10 runs. Ahmed Shehzad completed his sixth ODI fifty and became the next victim for 50. The middle order batting of the Green Shirts panicked and they were reeling at 6-117 after 29.3 overs.

Umar Akmal and Anwar Ali tried to stabilise the innings while the first was dropped at 28 by Shenwari. The score was taken to 177 in 42.4 overs when the latter lost his wicket for 21 and was replaced by Umar Gul. Umar Akmal took over, was punishing the bowlers at will and powered his second ODI hundred on the 88th ball with a grand six over long-on. He secured his end for 102 off just 89 comprising 3 smart sixes and 7 fours as his team piled up 8-248.

Dawlat Zardan, Mirwais Ashraf and Samiullah Shenwari were the top wicket takers with two each whereas Hamza took one.

Afghanistan surrendered their first wicket at 32 when Asghar Stanikzai joined in with Noor Ali Zardan. They crept to 65 when the latter was declared leg before wicket off Saeed Ajmal for 44. Nawroz Mangal walked in next and shared a valuable partnership of 74 runs with Asghar Stanikzai who went back to the pavilion at 139 for 40. The first followed him one run later for 35, his team completely surrendered afterwards and their innings was folded back for 176 in 47.2 overs.

Mohammad Hafeez was the highest wicket taker with three, Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul shared two each whereas Shahid Afridi chipped in with one wicket.

Pakistan clinched the encounter with a reasonable margin of 72 runs and gained two important points.

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